Please, can you read at a moderate speed and with a quite neutral accent ? This is for learners.
Thanks a lot :)
The origins of Mulan
Hua Mulan is one of the most legendary women of ancient China. Her story was originally described in a poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. We are not really sure that she was a real person and that she really existed, but tales of her heroic actions are told in ancient text and are also taught in today's Chinese schools.
In Chinese “Huā” means “flower” and “Mùlán” means magnolia. The magnolia flower is one of the symbols of China since ancient times and the story of Mulan could date back to the 4th or 5th Century AD.
The original source of Mulan’s story came from one folk song in the North Wei Dynasty which was called The Ballad of Mulan. The first known transcription of it comes from the 6th century. To this present day, many adaptations were created : musicals, shows, books, movies… and many interpretations were made. However, one thing is sure : it did not happen exactly as the Disney movie shows.
According to the poem The Ballad of Mulan, everything began as Mulan was washing clothes when she heard that the army was recruiting new soldiers. To save her old and ailing father, Huan Hu, she decided to be recruited as his “son.” She knew that her father was too old and too ill to survive the war, so she decided to disguise herself as a man to go in his place. That's how the legend was born.
How it finishes
In the end, the story gets a lot darker than in the Disney movie and they don't live happily ever after in this tale… After the emperor gave her a fine horse to go back to her home, she rode for days and days. But when she arrived, she learnt that her father died of his illness. Even if she was supposed to celebrate her victory and having saved China, she didn't feel like a hero. Indeed, the only feeling she had was that she should have been with him before he died, not far away on the battlefield. She felt like she had just lost the only person that really mattered in her life, even if she had saved her country.
Slowly, she became haunted by the death of her father and what she saw on the battlefield. The deadly visions and the sadness made her go crazy. As she couldn't bear it anymore, it is said that she ended up committing suicide, to stop her suffering.
Today, the legend of Mulan is very popular in China and it still inspires people when they need courage. In our society, Mulan is a great example of the power of women and how they can do as well, if not better, than men. She is still today a symbol of bravery and honor and she will inspire many other generations to come.